WXXI AM News

Sheppard, Barnhart criticize Mayor Warren for not participating in a debate

Aug 30, 2017

The Democratic  challengers for Rochester Mayor are calling on Mayor Lovely Warren to participate in a televised debate before the primary September 12th.

After a number of cancellations, due to the fact she spent several days in the hospital suffering from an allergic reaction, Warren says she won’t be participating in any forums or debates between now and the primary except for a forum being held by the Chamber of Commerce on September 7th.

James Sheppard held a press conference on the steps of Rochester City Hall Wednesday afternoon, saying it’s important for him to debate the incumbent, and that Warren owes it to the public, as a candidate who is “running on her record.”

"In my mind I'm not racing for third place, I’m racing to be number one, and to be number one you go against number one and that is the incumbent."

Rachel Barnhart also held a conference Wednesday afternoon saying its "outrageous" the mayor won’t participate in a televised debate, and accused her of "abdicating her civil duty."  Barnhart says she is open to debating Sheppard alone, but Sheppard is not interesting in debating Barnhart by herself.

In a statement released by the Warren campaign on Tuesday night, it said that,"Speculation that her health issues are politically convenient is disgraceful.  Until she fully recovers, the Mayor's number one concerns at this time are her health and caring for her daughter."